Apple to Samsung – all Devices

As most people know about me, I am very tech savvy. I love Windows, MacOS, Chromium, iOS, Android, BlackBerry (classic and Android)……and the list keeps going on and on.

I recently had an iPhone 7 Plus, an Apple Watch, a 2018 MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro. I was well invested in Apple’s devices simply because I wanted the the ‘experience’ of integrated services.

But all that changed after having three of the worst customer service experiences with the tech giant over a year’s time frame.

My most recent experience was after I bought my shiny new Macbook Pro after hearing the recommendations about this “device for professionals and creatives” from a specialist at my local store. It was a beautiful device – until I tried to run Adobe Creative Suite on it and Microsoft Office. The device began to lag in performance, and for the price tag of $1400, I expected perfection, just like most people would.

So I decided to chat with Apple to see what was going on with my $1400 machine – after all, Apple is supposed to be the best, right? Sure. We’ll let them think that.

…..Anyway…..

The customer support chat was about as responsive as my new lagging $1400 Macbook Pro. After not getting my issues resolved, and after an hour plus of chatting, I informed the chat agent that I appreciated their help and that I was going to return the Macbook Pro.

End of conversation.

So not only did I return my Macbook Pro to the store, I also returned my defective Apple Watch (it was not tracking movement after a recent iOS update), traded in my iPhone 7 Plus at Best Buy and I am also in the process of trading in my iPad Pro as well sometime in the near future.

I went back to my Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, bought a Samsung Chromebook Pro (with an sPen built in) for $499 on sale and a Samsung 9 Pro Laptop (it has a dedicated graphics card, instant on access, 256 GB SSD just like the Macbook Pro and an sPen built in) $1249 which everything for Adobe Suite and Microsoft Office works just like it should. I have everything synced back to Google Drive (my preferred ecosystem) instead of using Apple’s forced ecosystem (iCloud usage is mandatory to allow sync across devices) and Google’s at the same time.

I am not saying that one platform or device is better than the other, it really is based on personal preference and how one company can pitch a sale better than the other (this should be something for everyone to think about because Apple does a great job of paying the media to keep known issues away from the public for 6 months as they try to resolve the issues behind the scenes and Google is the one that notifies Apple when there is a known issue in security – who is Apple’s primary search engine? Google.) but I never had to contact tech support for a Windows based, Chrome based or Android device that took over 15 minutes to fix (except HP, they take weeks and an FTC complaint). The combination of Android and Windows works best for me.

Am I bitter? Nope. Just logical.

Getting Feedback From an Interview

One of the things that really bothers me today is most companies do not give feedback after an interview.

I understand the impact that feedback can bring on a company if the wrong words or a misunderstanding are communicated  to the applicant. There could be lawsuits from an unintentional impression, however many larger companies should have guidelines set in place for providing positive feedback and criticism for the individual.

Those companies that do not offer feedback, in my eyes, may have something to hide. Especially if the applicant is over the age of 40, on disability (or previously on disability) and other criteria that the employer feels may impact their decision to hire an applicant, yet they meet or exceed the guidelines provided in the job description to do a job correctly.

With the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many companies will not provide feedback as this law protects the applicant from many forms of discrimination . The unfortunate part is that if an applicant has a disability, which this information is voluntary provided by the applicant within the application process, the employer may turn away from the unknown. In other words, the disability may be something that is not impacted by job performance and the employer will loose out on hiring a high performance and dedicated employee.

Most of these applicants are screened through a computer generated program (and possibly a 3rd party company), which they may never even get a chance to talk to a human being about their own skill sets and qualifications, let alone get feedback from an interview.

I personally fee that we need to change the way we hire, interview, and gain information about background checks for applicants. There may be an underlying situation that is yet to be discovered.

And above all, provide positive and effective feedback to applicants that did not get hired.

Master Call Center Account Management

I have worked in the call center industry for many years. I have also worked for some of the largest and most successful businesses in the world.

If you want to be a call center master in any position, you have to make yourself known. Sell yourself. Create your brand from within the company. I’m not talking about just to your manager or your manager’s manager – create your brand to your customer and employee too. One thing to keep in mind at all times,

“The customer you’re speaking to or the employee you’re speaking to isn’t just a person that you’ve come across within your career path. They are your personal customer or your personal employee.”

As with any company you currently work for, being an advocate at all times (even when you’re at a party scene and off the clock) is imperative towards keeping a positive light about the one that supports your career and your income.

“If you go overboard, get out of the situation” 

Let’s face it. Would you own an Android phone if you currently worked for Apple? Would you have services with Verizon if you work for AT&T? Of course not – but if you do, you may want to reconsider your options. Really.

“They support you. Be respectful and do the same for them”

Mastering your current position with your employer depends on the employer themselves and the expectations required from them. But always remember to ask for feedback and always deliver constructive feedback to others.

“Caring is sharing” 

Just a few tips to keep yourself on your toes and to let your employer know that you intend to stay that way.

Namaste.

Gluten Free Diet

I know that there is a bunch of critics out there about people eating gluten free and not having a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease for kicks.

I am not one of them. I’m the real deal.

In some cases Celiac Disease is accompanied by other food allergies. Like I am also allergic to corn, soy, pork, nuts and wheat on top of the gluten allergy – and people don’t understand that when I say that I cannot eat ground beef or a steak if it was not grass fed. Personally I prefer not to eat it to begin with, but I went to Universal Orlando’s Mel’s Diner for lunch because I know they have gluten free buns

The employees could not understand what Celiac Disease was along with why I can’t eat the meat or cheese they serve (they wanted to charge me full price , which is completely absurd. I’m not getting the meat or the cheese – I cant eat it.

Now, you’re probably wondering why can’t I eat it, so let me put this into simple terms. What do cows, chickens, pigs and other farm raised ‘animal for food’? Genetic modified corn, soybeans, wheat and rice products (or meal). When the animal ingests this food, what do you think is in your meat? Some people can get away with eating any kind of meat with certain food allergies, but some of us cannot.

So to be on the safe side, I avoid eating meat. I have a sensitivity that just doesn’t allow me to enjoy or digest it like a person who does not have these food allergies.

So overall, I think Universal Orlando needs to rethink how they offer their products and price points in the sense of people who can’t eat what they offer, but offer alternatives that don’t fit the bill. I mean, honestly, if I’m not eating it, I’m not paying for it.

Common Sense. I walked out an bought a fruit cup.

We Skipped the Commercial Side of Christmas….and it Made Me a Better Person

2017 was not the most forgiving year. It was also not the most profitable year, so we decided that we were going to skip the commercial side of Christmas.

This was my first attempt.

No Christmas tree decorations. No presents. No planning a family get together. No Holiday cards.

It felt weird…..at first.

But then I remembered how weird it felt for the first 20 years of living in Florida of having sand instead of snow, and Palm Trees instead of Douglas Firs. It was something new – not necessarily exciting, but new.

On the actual holiday is when it hit me. I don’t know if we made the right decision. It was too weird. No Turkey and Ham in the oven. No baked pies. No caramelizing sweet potatoes simmering away.  But then it suddenly felt like any other day. Sure, we were going out for Christmas dinner with a few friends later, but we didn’t have anything else planned.

The feeling of weird was still there, just a little more pronounced.

Later in the early afternoon, I was thinking about the holiday itself. The meaning of the holiday didn’t change, we just took the commercial part out of it. It was still a day of celebration with friends and family – I just wasn’t hosting it (saving $250 just on the cost of food alone was shocking).

In turn, we saved hundreds of dollars. Our to-do list and grocery list was converted to a mere $38.00 for two at a Chinese restaurant –  Iconic? I know. But this may become our new tradition.

……a new tradition……

We spend hundreds of dollars each year outside of holiday shopping on each other – and as things get more advanced in life, so does the price. As I remember it, Christmas was once a teddy bear, pair of slippers and a t-shirt. Today it’s a smartphone, a 4K television, and a new laptop.

Here is my little run down on the costs of the holidays:

Food for Hosting Christmas Dinner ($250), Gifts ($1000), Cards and Stamps to Send ($100) and Gas / Tolls ($500). This is the basic from MY normal holiday spending – without my significant other’s spending and without buying gifts for anyone outside the household. $1850.00.

When you think about a new high end smartphone costs almost $1000, it’s easy to get lost in Christmas spending…..and you probably don’t even realize it until you try to pay things off in January.

So here’s a new idea. Stop buying gifts for the holidays, since you buy them all year round for each other / yourself, or convert your gift giving around the holidays to more personalized and less expensive gifts (like a personalized gift or shirt from beefygeek.com)- even a handmade gift is more personable and appreciative than anything you can buy in a store.  Donate your time to a shelter.

There is so much to think about now, isn’t there?

If you liked this story, please feel free to comment and clap for me on Medium. You can also visit my personal site at kevhenne.com

Namaste.

That Moment When it All Makes Sense – Inner Happiness

Since I currently live in Orlando, FL., and recently celebrated my 20th year living in the Sunshine State, I take advantage of annual passes for the local theme parks. I am also within my last two courses of my Bachelors Program in college. I run two online businesses as a hobby, I try to keep up with this blog at least once a week, and I have some free time here and there.

When I am engaged in a project for school or one of my businesses, I do my best thinking and writing when I am at Universal Orlando. I don’t know what it is about the energy there, but it makes me think. I have tried sitting at Starbucks, walking in the local Mall, strolling in the park – you name it, I’ve done it. Universal is essential to making my creative juices flow – I have a ‘why?’ personality. I like to dissect things to find out what makes them work and how to make things better.

Then last week I was at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on a Wednesday and things that I’ve heard before from others, understood the mean of, suddenly became as clear as day. I don’t know if it was because it wasn’t that busy at the park that day, or if Tinkerbell found a moment to bless me with pixie dust – I had an wide open mind and something that has been taught to me for years finally made perfect sense.

“You can only control things that are within your own control, but you cannot control others situations or actions”

I then became thankful for everything and everyone in my life. I even looked at my iPhone 7 Plus and was thankful for it. I then started chanting happy thoughts in my head as blessed others walking through the park.

BAM!  I actually laughed out loud at myself in the middle of Tomorrowland for a moment and had a grin that expanded from ear to ear for the rest of the day. I’m not on medication. Do I need to be? No. I discovered the little part of me that introduces life, when happiness comes from within.

I was truly happy. Ever since that Wednesday, those little moments that I used to constantly worry about everyday just dissipated.

So thank you, God, the Universe, and every positive entity out there for showing me this wonderful feeling.

I hope you find it too.

Namaste

The iPhone Model Numbers and Their Meanings

One thing that I have been paying attention to when I buy a new iPhone is the model number. I am not talking about the  differences between the iPhone 5, SE, 6, 6S, 7, 8 or X. I am speaking about the actual model number found on your device, its compatibility with your current carrier or switching to another carrier, and possibly its trade in value.

This is something I learned about two years ago, and at that moment in time, I was not aware that an iPhone that you buy from AT&T directly will not work on Verizon’s network., even if you had it successfully unlocked by AT&T. But if you buy an iPhone from Best Buy on behalf of AT&T or directly from the Apple Store, after it’s paid off you can move to any carrier you’d like.

Why does this happen?

It’s simple. The carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) and sub carriers (Cricket, Total Wireless, Boost, etc) create a legal binding agreement with Apple in order to have the iPhone made to fit their own network, so the carrier can do two things:

1. Financial security. Make sure that you pay off your phone entirely before you’re able to move to another provider (if applicable), simply because the carrier doesn’t make money off of their phones as much as they do their monthly service fees.

2. Customer Satisfaction. They want your iPhone to work at its best on their network. It costs money to have customers call tech support for every little issue, plus they want the user to have the best experience possible.

Lets talk about the model numbers. I have an iPhone 7 Plus (yes, I always buy the previous year’s model to save money when they go on sale and a new iPhone is released), I will compare the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.  I am only going to cover the carrier. If you want Bandwith  specific information, please go to Apple.com or your carriers website.

This information can be found under Settings -> General -> About -> Model number -> tap on the longer model number to reveal the short version as seen below:

iPhone 7: A1660 Global Phone (carrier unlocked), can be used on GSM (AT&T / T-Mobile) and CDMA (Sprint / Verizon)

iPhone 7: A1778 Global GSM (Full service capability on AT&T / T-Mobile only), model typically sold directly from AT&T and T-Mobile Stores or online from their website. You can use voice services with Verizon and Sprint, but you will only have data services through AT&T / T-Mobile.

iPhone 7: A1779 Japanese Global version (difference is a the ability to use Apple Pay in Japan), covers GSM and CDMA networks.

iPhone 7 Plus: A1661 Global Phone (Carrier unlocked), can be used on GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile) and CDMA (Sprint, and Verizon)

iPhone 7 Plus: A1784 Global GSM (Full service capability on AT&T / T-Mobile only), sold directly from AT&T and T-Mobile stores on direct from their website. You can still use voice services over Verizon and Sprint, but you will not have data services on these networks.

iPhone 7 Plus: A1785 Japanese Global version (Apple pay capable in Japan), covers GSM and CDMA networks.

So there you have it. Now you know what you’re getting when you shop online on eBay and Amazon or if you’re looking to buy an iPhone directly from Apple, your existing carrier or a reseller (like Best Buy). Based on my personal experiences with reselling my old phone, if you have one that is unlocked for GSM and CDMA carriers, you usually get a bit more for the iPhone. Some resellers may charge you a small difference in pricing compared to your carrier, but you’re getting the most for your money when it comes to reselling it yourself or avoid a huge headache if you want to switch carriers.

I hope you enjoyed this article about the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Pleas feel free to Like and Share my post. Also, don’t forget to clap for me on Medium!

Namaste.

The iPad Pro? Would Steve Jobs Approve For His Children?

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on April 3rd 2010, after the product launch, he advised that his children were not allowed to have an iPad. Why?

Steve’s answer, although he is the father of the product, saw no need for his children to have one since they each had an iPhone and a Mac. Steve himself declared that the iPad wasn’t an item for children if you wanted them to grow up learning outside of technology, and wanted them to grow up on a more live social scale, rather than a digital scale. As a person of reasoning, I can understand his decision.

But in 2016 the iPad Pro came into the picture, and we see Apple commercials today in 2018 with a child carrying his iPad Pro around with them – everywhere. They seem to be doing everything from taking pictures with it to writing a report for school. Finally at the end of the commercial, a woman asks, “What are you doing on your computer?” And the child responses, “What’s a computer?”.

So what happened here? Steve Jobs said that the iPad was not suitable for his own children, but here is Apple after the late Steve Jobs turns his passion over to Tim Cook, advertising the iPad Pro with the main character as a child.

Evolution.

The iPad was basically an enlarged iPhone and e-Reader when it was first introduced. It really didn’t have the capabilities and speed that it has today and Apple even claims that it can replace a laptop, which with the App Store and it’s (sometimes) overwhelming number of apps, like Microsoft Office, you can really run your day from an iPad Pro.

I am using it right now and I have since 5am this morning.

So would Steve Jobs allow his kids to have an iPad Pro today in comparison to Apple’s original iPad from 2010?

Absolutely.

Online Businesses – What I Learned About Them, Which Educated Me for My Own Benefit

In this day and age, I strongly believe that the ‘Fake it Until You Make it” idea is being used in full force by some, if not by many, within the new start-ups of today.

You can’t fake it forever.

If you weren’t a genius child who created a ‘must have’ item or idea in your teens, you might be one of these start-ups that needs to get more experience and education under your belt…….and by all means, get some customer service experience too or create a partnership with someone that has the experience. It will help you get those return customers and recommendations you need to thrive.

How do I know this? I tried about 10 years ago to create my own start-up. I had no idea what I was doing because it was a field that I was not an expert or had enough experience in, nor did I attempt to find a partner to help me establish my business. I created a business plan.  I wasted money on advertising and time on cold calling – only to produce a lesser than perfected product for a client compared to my competitors charging $10 more for the same product. The worst part was, I had very few leads and no recommendations to start with.

I’ll admit it. I failed. I failed HARD.

Today I see the same thing happening to others. I see it in their ads through social media. It’s almost like it’s a calling of desperation to get a new or their first client on board. But let’s face it. If you have a lead or two that would recommend you (a former employer, a former client, a friend, family member, etc), you will succeed far faster than most people expect to. If you don’t have this advantage, join MeetUp groups. There are many available on Facebook and Google+. Try doing a search on Google with your local town or closest largest town, there is bound to be something.

Reality check: It can still take months to establish yourself or get your first client.

Avoid Fivver and other large scale ‘For Hire’ sites. You won’t make nearly as much and you cannot advertise your personal brand or your website – you can advertise yourself, but only as a ‘For Hire’ site employee. However, this can be a way to get your name out there, but the personal and professional branding isn’t there. Face it. Their prices are cheap because you get what you pay for. In other words, don’t order a Windows Phone if you expect to get the latest iPhone. Would you want to be known as a brand that has depleted its time on the market or as a thriving brand that has stood up to the test of time and demands of the public?

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Don’t settle for less – get paid what you are WORTH and make your clients aware of how and why you’re different from the competition and the ‘large scale’ service providers. Focus on you, your skills, your goals, and your accomplishments in conversation as a way to answer or rebuttal a client’s question or fall back against your services.

Don’t settle for less, but don’t expect more when you provide less.

Think about it.

Thank you for reading! If you like my article, please feel free to like, share or follow me on social media or at kevhenne.com. You can always visit my page on Meduim.com and don’t forge to clap for me!

Obsessed with Technology and Becoming the VigorIntel Online Start-Up

Although I will have my Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management in April 2018, I am obsessed with technology – I always have been. It’s such a strong passion of mine that I am always reading about improved technology from all sides of innovation and watching annual events in relation to Apple, Samsung and Microsoft new releases.

Every device has its positives and negatives about them. In other words, I personally don’t think that there is a perfected device out there, but there is a device perfect for everyone based on  an individual need. This is the beauty of technology. Choices. Unlike your 5th grade math class, there is no right answer.

I have always been the go-to guy from family and friends when they need advice about fixing an issue and recommending user software or apps for mobile and stationary devices. Even people that I haven’t heard from in quite a while send me a message on Facebook looking for advice – and I don’t mind it, but I’m not your regular personal tech guru without a fee either.

This is when I started vigorintel.com. I became aware that there was a market for my skills – even if I only wanted to do it Part Time. I have always loved blogging, and one day I decided to teach myself Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro (in the process of learning), After Effects (in the process of learning) and Muse. On top of years of my technical knowledge, this gave me a new incorporated service platform to offer people. An all in one stop shop for digital design, tech support, creative writing and web design.

All I did was buy a domain and web hosting services. Although you can use simple and easy sites like WordPress (I use it for blogging, like this one), I found it more challenging and personalized to create my own sites from scratch. After all, there isn’t just one smart device for everyone, why should anything else be?

Now mind you, I’m almost done with my BS degree in Human Resource Management, and I love helping people and business. But this doesn’t mean I have to neglect my other interests and expertise.

Once you figure out exactly what you love, you can do amazing things – and possibly make a little extra cash in the process.

Never give on your passions.